The End of the World

2012 world

By Audrey Webster | Features editor


Envision waking up on the morning of Dec. 21, 2012. It seems to be a normal morning, when the ground begins shaking; the ocean water swells into towering waves engulfing entire cities and volcanoes erupt leaving a barren wasteland in their trek.

These were just a few speculations that came to mind when the ancient Mayan calendar was discovered inscribed on a stone staircase in the dense jungles of Guatemala. This catastrophic event was labeled “doomsday” and rumors began to spread, gaining fame as the story was altered to sound more terrifying than it actually is.

Engraved in the staircase was a description of the end of the world. It was predicted that the apocalypse would be a bombardment of cataclysmic astronomical events including meteor showers, a flyby of Planet X, intense solar flares and a geomagnetic reversal.

This raving topic also made the Hollywood headlines and developed the prompt for the well-known film “2012,”which was released in 2009. The movie depicts the world ending in an entirely different way than the Mayan calendar predicts, presenting the end as a mixture of tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and devastating earthquakes.

After the movie’s release, many people believed this is what the day of Dec. 21, 2012 would bring. However, people must keep in mind that Hollywood movies are made for entertainment purposes only and are not to be taken as scientific fact.

Looking back into the past, there have been many cases where rumors have been spread regarding the doomsday speculation. In the year 2000, the turn of the century was rumored to bring vast blackouts and a nuclear Holocaust. When the morning of Jan. 1, 2000, came, there were no disastrous blackouts, which proved this belief to be false.

The doomsday predictions have also given some people the excuse to not work hard in their job or at school. By using the apocalyptic rumors as an excuse to not care, people set themselves up for failure when the doomsday accusations are proven to be false.

The scientific reality of the subject is still under debate, but according to the studies of a professor at UC Santa Barbara, the predicted “end date” could be up to 60 days out of whack, meaning the actual doomsday could take place anywhere from Oct. 21 to Feb. 21. Scientific research regarding the subject has in no way predicted the end of the world to take place on the exact date of Dec. 21, 2012. This theory was created by the media and countless rumors surrounding the subject. The Mayan calendar alone does not provide enough supporting evidence to conclude the speculations to be true.

Although some may call themselves devoted believers in the doomsday predictions, the subject has been severely removed from the truth. The Mayan calendar never gave an exact date for the end of the world, and according to scientists, people have no reason to believe the end of the world will take place in 2012.

Regardless of the doomsday predictions, Earth is still in a constant threat of being destroyed by a rogue asteroid. An asteroid collision is very hard to predict. The difficulty for scientists is knowing when to release the idea that the hypothetical asteroid poses a real threat.

Humans can never be sure what to expect when it comes to the end of the world. For all we know, it could end tomorrow or millions of years from now. The notion of not knowing what the end of the world will look like is what scares people into predicting an end date. No matter how prepared humans are, they can never know the full extent of what doomsday will bring.